Can you really have updated Major League Soccer power rankings during a FIFA international break? Thanks to the league scheduling multiple games in the past week, you sure can. The New York Red Bulls won't play this month until September 15, but they do fall in this week's power rankings due to the continued solid play of a Western Conference side. As you may have expected, there is no change at the very top of the list following the past week of play.
2012 Week 28 MLS power rankings
18. Philadelphia Union (7-13-5): Philly fall in power rankings due to no fault of their own. Who would have thought two lower-tier sides would come up with wins?
17. Chivas USA (7-12-7): Chivas surrendered a late goal at Seattle, a tally that just about ends their playoff hopes. I should probably be honest and state that I've also dropped Chivas in this week's power rankings because that one goal put Seattle ahead of New York in the overall league standings.
16. Portland Timbers (7-14-6): Beat Colorado 1-0, lose to Colorado 3-0. That's not a decent tradeoff.
15. Colorado Rapids (9-17-2): As unbelievable as it may be to suggest, the Rapids could still technically earn a playoff spot this fall. I don't see them doing it, but stranger things have happened.
13. Vancouver Whitecaps (10-11-7): Vancouver need a win at Dallas this coming weekend in the worst way. The 2012 MLS Playoffs are slipping from their fingers.
12. FC Dallas (8-12-9): Saturday could be do-or-die time for Dallas, who have been given several reprieves this season. A Dallas victory over Vancouver could change the landscape of the MLS Western Conference standings.
11. Montreal Impact (12-14-3): I'll be blunt: Montreal need wins and wins only. Chicago are tough to beat at home, but the Impact cannot afford to drop points against any side right now.
10. DC United (12-10-5): On the outside looking in if the postseason started today, DC have a great chance to earn three points against New England. True playoff teams beat lesser sides at home.
9. Columbus Crew (12-9-6): Their hot run had to end sometime. Don't give up on the Crew just yet.
8. Chicago Fire (13-8-5): Chicago have been leapfrogged in the standings and in MLS power rankings. They may be able to change both of those facts with a victory against Montreal
7. Real Salt Lake (14-11-4): Goalkeeper Nick Rimando deserved better at Houston. RSL's Supporters' Shield hopes took a big hit on Thursday.
6. LA Galaxy (13-11-4): The defending champs are playing well as of late, and they host lowly Colorado on Friday night. LA will likely again be in the top five of MLS power rankings next week.
5. Houston Dynamo (12-7-9): Houston probably won't catch SJ in the Supporters' Shield race, but they do have a chance of finishing the season atop the MLS Eastern Conference standings. A loss at KC on Friday would probably put an end to those dreams, though.
4. New York Red Bulls (13-7-7): RBNY fall in MLS power rankings during their off-time. There's nothing they can do over the next week except get healthy and prepare for Columbus.
3. Seattle Sounders (13-6-8): Eddie Johnson and his head have Seattle right back in the Supporters' Shield race. I've been telling people to watch out for the Sounders since a month ago.
2. Sporting KC (15-7-5): A "MLS/US Soccer Triple" is a very real goal for SKC. A victory over Houston would be a statement, and also possibly a result that lands Kansas City level on points with San Jose.
1. San Jose Earthquakes (16-6-5): SJ remain kings of all MLS power rankings for another week, but SKC, Seattle, RBNY and RSL could all have something to say about that over the next month.